On Monday the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced that the 200th infant has been surrendered under Michigan’s Safe Delivery of Newborns Act since 2001.
Michigan’s Safe Delivery law allows mothers to legally and confidentially surrender unharmed newborns to emergency service providers up to 72 hours after birth. An emergency service provider is defined as an on-duty employee of a fire department, hospital or police station.
The law was passed in response to a disturbing trend of young mothers abandoning their newborn babies in a number of dangerous places, leading to their tragic death.
Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “Some of these 200 infants would have ended up facing tragic fates. This prolife law has given them a chance at life along with the beautiful opportunity to be adopted into loving families.”
The Act was originally championed by State Representative Patty Birkholz and passed the Michigan Legislature by unanimous votes. It was signed into law in 2000 by Governor John Engler. In 2006 the act was updated to include responding emergency medical technicians and paramedics as emergency service providers.
Listing said, “Continuing to publicly talk about this law is critical to make sure the abandonment trend doesn’t happen again. We need to help our young women and teens be better informed about this law.”
Additional educational and promotional materials about the Safe Delivery law can be found on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services website.